One of the greatest gifts you can give your children is an appreciation of healthy, wholesome foods. Welcoming them into your kitchen is a great way to get them excited for mealtimes, and it might just make them more open to trying new foods and flavors.
Join some of FOOD & WINE’s favorite personalities as they share the kitchen with their children. Get step-by-step instructions for preparing their favorite kid-friendly dishes, and follow their tips for coaxing kids to get cooking.
After all, if meal prep is a family affair, it'll mean less stress for mom and dad—and better nutrition for everyone.
Born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, Hugh Acheson started cooking at a young age and decided to make it his career after taking a very long time to realize that academics weren't his thing. At age 15, he began working in restaurants and learning as much as possible. He went on to work under chef Rob MacDonald at Henri Burger in Ottawa, where he learned about stylized French cuisine, wine and etiquette, then to San Francisco's Mecca with chef Mike Fennelly. Hugh then opened as sous chef at Gary Danko's namesake restaurant, where he found a love of the simple, pure and disciplined.
With these experiences, Hugh developed a style of his own, which celebrates the beauty of the South and the flavors of Europe, and opened Five & Ten in Athens, Georgia, in 2000 to critical acclaim. In 2007, he opened The National, also in Athens, with chef Peter Dale. And in 2010, he opened Empire State South in Atlanta.
Hugh's cookbook, A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen, hit bookshelves this fall. Also this fall, he's appearing as a judge on Season 9 of Bravo's Top Chef.
All of the above matters only outside of Athens, Georgia. In Athens, Hugh is the guy who owns those restaurants, has one eyebrow, a wife far better looking than he is and two young daughters, Beatrice and Clementine, who are the apple of his eye.
- Favorite Kid Friendly Recipes
- Family Photo Album
- Q & A
How has the way you eat and your attitude about food shaped your child's eating habits?If you make good food available to your kids, they'll soon realize that good food tastes better. If you don't present vegetables as an option, kids are never going to reach for vegetables on their own.
How do you encourage your child to eat healthy, balanced meals?We try to encourage our kids to eat real meals rather than constant on-the-go snacks, but with the pace of life today, that's not always easy. A good day is when the whole family happily sits down together and eats a full meal.
Are some children just born "picky eaters"? Or do children evolve into picky eaters?It goes in fits and starts. Some days my kids love okra and other days they are over it. I think all palates change as you grow up though.
How do you get children to try foods that might be outside of other children's comfort zones?Bribing doesn't really work. Instead we'll put something new in front of the girls and won't make a big deal about it. We just hope they're hungry enough to try something new. They love brussels sprouts, but not because we forced them on them. Just put new foods in front of your kids as often as possible.
How do you get your children to cook with you? How can other parents make food more enticing than video games?We get our kids into the kitchen at least once a week. Turn off the TV and invite your kids to help you. Often TV is just an excuse. Have you tried to include your kids in the kitchen?
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.